Appeal Statement for Secondary School Admissions – Part B
This article is aimed to help with the difficult issue of what information you should put in your appeal statement for your secondary school appeal to help with Part B.
Unfortunately, in Part B there is likely to be an element of competition between your child and others as to whose need ranks highest in the school admission appeal. As a result, the content of your written appeal statement will be very important.
What should you write in your Appeal Statement?
Despite guidance from the Secretary of State and the High Court, it still remains the case that an appeal panel may focus on why your particular child ought to be admitted over others.
While this ought to be judged on a ranking of prejudice during Part B of the school admission appeal, it may be helpful to include some material such as school reports, examples of work and details of extra-curricular clubs and activities that stress why there would be an advantage to the secondary school in admitting your child.
It would be a mistake, however, to rely on this material as ultimately the appeal panel should not rely upon it to make a decision, and it may overshadow more relevant points of substance that can properly be made.
Why this particular secondary school?
As a result, begin by reminding yourself why you wanted your child to attend this particular school. Some suggestions to think about are:
- What is it about that school which means that it is the only school suitable for your child?
- Is it that your child’s classmates from primary school are all going there and he stands to be isolated from his peers?
- Is it that you have a connection to that school already though an older sibling or community work?
- Does this school cater for your religious needs in a way that other local schools cannot?
- Does this school have a specialist music, sport, science or other facility that no other school has?
- Do any of your child’s achievements mentioned above mean he is particularly gifted and therefore suited to this school?
- Can a current teacher write a letter to the panel to substantiate these gifts and the suitability of the fit?
- Does your child have learning difficulties that are not significant enough to warrant them having a statement of needs, but enough that the special Educational needs coordinator at your primary school feels that your child would benefit from being at this school?
There are likely to be more relevant issues to think about and include.
Why not the secondary school offered?
You will know why the school offered is not suitable. Again, there may be a number of reasons such as these:
- Is there a child that attends that school that bullies your child?
- Is the school far away and impacts on you getting your child there?
- Do you have to have another sibling at a primary school in an opposite direction at the same time?
- Does your child have emotional or mild learning needs that will be neglected at the allocated school because, for example, the recent Ofsted report shows an issue with teaching standards or maintaining standards of behaviour.
Why not other secondary schools in your area?
Aside from the secondary school offered, you will need to think about why your child’s educational needs can’t be met by other schools in your locality.
To help you you might want to:
- Write a list of the schools that are in your area and either closer to you or the same distance away from you and your preferred school.
- Look at why those schools are not valid options either.
- Consider the Ofsted reports.
- Visit the schools in question.
You will need to do everything you can to back up your argument to the appeal panel that there is no other school suitable for your child.
The appeal statement is your argument
The appeal panel for your secondary school admission will have read through your argument and supporting evidence before you have the opportunity to address the panel in either Part A or Part B of the appeal.
You will need to take the time to ensure that the arguments are relevant and structured and above all persuasive. As a result, how the statement is written and the supporting evidence will be very important to your appeal.
The panel members are likely to ask you, for example, on the research that you have undertaken on not just the offered and preferred school, but also other schools in the area.
The person presenting for the admissions authority will also have the opportunity to ask you questions, so if you make a claim think about whether it can be backed up by independent evidence. This might come from a teacher or a health care professional.
If you know you will be able to get the evidence but not in time for the appeal submission deadline then make it clear you will submit it when you can. It is likely that you will be able to supply fresh material in support of your school appeal until 5 working days before the hearing.
Contact us about Education Law
We have published information that we hope will help you consider whether to pursue a school admissions appeal. The posts will help you to prepare for the appeal itself.
If you wish to receive our advice or representation on this aspect of education then we will offer you fixed fees dependent on your instructions. You can find out more information about our fees here.
Please contact education law solicitor Clare Roberts on 0115 9599550 or use the contact form below. We provide our education law service from our offices across the East Midlands.